PHILADELPHIA-Boston-based New Boston Fund and locally based Brasler Realty have acquired the 1.5-million-sf former Caterpillar Corp. complex in York, PA for an undisclosed price. The property, located on 126 acres, is currently vacant and will be redeveloped by Pennsylvania-based TDI Construction into a multi-tenant industrial facility.

Integral with the sale transaction, Chicago-based R.R. Donnelley Logistics has leased 670,000 sf of one of the properties at the center, a 687,800-sf distribution facility, and expects to open operations for its Northeast distribution there by third-quarter 2003.

The center also contains a 40,000-sf, two-story corporate office facility; a 52,000-sf, single-story industrial building, and a 729,000-sf manufacturing/distribution building.

Terms of the Donnelley lease and asking rental rates for the remaining vacant space are undisclosed, and calls by were not returned by press time. According to a statement, however, “the offering rents are well below market for completely renovated, modern industrial space that is adaptable for both manufacturing and distribution requirements.”

Brokers estimate the asking rate is probably in the $3.80 per sf range.

Jerry Rappaport Jr., president of New Boston, says the purchase of the York center is consistent with his company’s “regional diversification strategy of expanding out of New England. We also have pursued a strategy of expanding our portfolio through warehouse and distribution acquisitions and developments,” he says in a statement. The statement adds New Boston “expects to expand its presence further in Pennsylvania and New Jersey over the next several years.”

Brasler is a third-generation, family-owned real estate company that specializes in the redevelopment of large, vacant industrial properties into multi-tenant business complexes.

“We believe that by converting this complex into a modern industrial facility, we can generate economic growth and stimulate new jobs for the York community,” Chris Brasler, co-principal, says in a statement.

Joe McDermott of the Wayne, PA office of Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis represented the owner, Commercial Development Corp., in the sale and also represented Donnelley in the lease transaction. McDermott will represent the center in leasing the remaining, sub-dividable 800,000 sf.

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